Thursday May 31st: Trip to NY part 2: Reunion with old friends (aka revisiting past memories).
After a wonderful night's sleep (my God a hotel that puts REAL pillows on the bed and not that flat shit you find in most!!), we got ourselves up and going. I hadnt gotten to sleep much before 2am and we found out later we were one of the first awake. Hubby called my parents around 1030am or so to see what they had on the agenda. I had to laugh as the phone call woke them up. Here we'd planned on breakfast with everyone too. We all met in the hotel lobby and got an idea of where everyone was headed for the day. Dad said lunch at Heid's of Liverpool at 2pm. For those not from the NY area...Heid's is THE place to go for hotdogs. They use Houffman hotdogs and are the only place Im aware of that sell coneys (pronounced coon- ees), a white hot dog that most find irresistable. Right next door they have Sweet Treats which is an icecream parlor affiliated with Heidi's.
Since there was a few hours before that, I decided to take hubby up to the WalMart on 31 and see if an old friend of mine was working. We went in and to the fitting room area to see if they knew if she was in. They said yes, but she was more than likely out to lunch. Our best bet was to go around to the smokers area and see. Sure enough that's where she was...on the phone home with one of her daughters (who'd come home on vacation from college). So I yelled her name and she turned around and said "Oh my GOD it's..". I guess the daughter got all excited and my friend hung up on her. *laughs* I never realized how much of an impression I left on her and her family. From what she told me during our visit, her kids would get the mail and get all excited when a snail mail showed up from me. They'd beg her to be allowed to open the envelope and she'd tell them no they had to wait til she got home. I wish I'd been a fly on the wall when she got home THAT night! *laffs* She brought me back to her office and then we headed back to receiving to see another friend of mine. Again I was greeted with "Holy SHIT it's YOU!", at which point she hung up with whomever she was on the phone with. I get the impression I was missed....LOL. After spending about 15- 20 minutes with them, catching up with things, I took hubby over to the mall in the area. We mainly went to kill a few minutes and to get out of the heat (it was in the 90s and very humid that day- actually HOTTER than Texas by nearly 20 degrees!). We bought a couple items, but mainly just wandered to cool off. Around 115pm or so we decided to start back to Heid's. Thank goodness we did as shortly after we started out we got a call from my mom saying they were there already. Geez. Good thing I wasnt out in bumfux Egypt someplace with a 30 minute commute....I was just around the corner by about 10 minutes.
We got to Heid's and bought 2 specials ( 2 dogs, small fries and a drink). Shortly after we got there we were joined by my godfather and his wife (my godmother is my godfather's sister). There was alot of catching up while we were eating. My SIL's kids were acting like kids and she pretty much was out of earshot most of the time unfortunately. It was so good to see my godfather again and seemed to be enjoying playing with the kids more than he was the conversation. LOL. We got some great shots of him and my nephew. Around 3pm or so, seeing that hubby was getting bored (and frankly I was too), I decided it was time to take him to some of the other places I grew up. I asked daddy about supper and he told me since I missed out meeting up with Gary to go ahead and do that if I chose. Mom told me if plans changed to give them a jingle later and we could join them for supper.
During our drive around some of the places I grew up, I found many many changes. More so than I was expecting to be honest. The Kinne Street elementary (where I went during 5th and 6th grades) had been torn down (which I knew) and a big huge building put in its place (this I didnt know). It's now known as East Syracuse Elementary. The library I used to go to in the summer was also torn down and relocated closer to the elementary school (surprise). I brought him to see the house on Irving St (the green house above) where we lived for 9 months. The new people had taken really good care of the property as it looked nicer than I remembered it (it's painted white now and the foundation is still in good repair). I do have to admit while we were in it, it was a rental property and now it looks like whomever's in it actually owns it. Heman St elementary (where I went for 3rd and 4th grades) had become an admin / GED building and looks like they're doing some work on what used to be a playyard. The pool at Heman park was open but since school was still in session it wasnt in use yet. I took hubby down to Second Street on the other side of the bridge from East Syracuse proper and damn didnt it LOOK like the proverbial "other side of the tracks". I do NOT recall it looking quite so ...well rough. My mom would use the excuse of "well it's because you're looking at it through an adult's eyes and not a child's eyes any more" but this isnt the case as I lived there until I was in my early 20's and it didnt look that bad then. The house I'd lived in most my life had been resided in yellow (props for the residing , boo on the color) and the eagle that had been in the peak was removed and a sunburst put up there. The foundation and the driveway were another matter though. They'd definitely seen better days. I didnt even think to look at the roof. We drove around the corner so we could see the back yard and they'd fenced it off (making it look shorter), moved the shed to the back corner (it had been up against the house) and built a deck back there (making the yard look smaller still). Kudos on the removal of the huge tree in the middle of the yard though. As for the deck, it's a nice addition but unnecessary if there isnt a pool back there. While riding around I also noticed that the old park in the area had been ripped down to make room for other industry, the bar (which shouldnt have been allowed to operate in a family neighborhood was changed into a Thrift Store, the house that had been behind our house was no longer there (as well as the huge willow trees that had been in their yard), and there was a huge-assed garage in the yard where the neighbor who'd lived there used to practice his driving (he was an avid golfer). I figured to take a ride up to the second WalMart I'd worked at and it had been replaced with a Sam's Club so we headed to the other 2 schools I'd been at. I opted not to take him to the jr high as school was letting out (or at least the late bus run was going) and it's a bitch getting out of that parkinglot during that time so we headed straight up to the highschool (which looks larger...they must have remodelled the gymnasium). Hubby told me it was larger than his old school to which I replied we'd had over 300 in the graduating class alone. To think, mine wasnt even the largest graduating class either. At least we could hold ours on the football field. I know some schools so much larger they had to rent one of the Community buildings in Syracuse for their commencement ceremonies!
After the trip to the highschool, I took him to the one place I'd vowed I wasnt going but something inside told me to face it. We drove out to that one trailor I'd rented so many years ago. It was a little difficult to find, made harder by the fact it had been painted from a lovely colonial blue to a shit brown. It looked like a huge turd in the middle of that piece of property. I have to admit it looks like it held up really well all this time though as it was pretty old when we rented it in the first place. We didnt, however, drive down the road my ex's parents live on. Somehow at the time I couldnt face it. Now Im wishing I had faced that one bit of the past. *sigh* Ah well.
Once the rounds were made, we went back to the hotel to freshen up and wait on Gary to call after work. Around 530pm or so he called (Gary correct me if Im wrong) and we'd decided on 630pm for the get together. He picked us up right on the nose and we headed to his house for the 25 cent tour (another quarter coulda bought me the trip to the basement but I didnt think my knees could handle the trip down ...nevermind back up). He has a beautiful little house...perfect for two. Then we went to Friendly's for supper and dessert. For those not from the north east part of the United States, Friendly's is a restaurant that specializes in icecream for dessert. Many of their sundaes are simply not made anywhere else in the continental U.S.A. As a child who grew up in NY, this is the one place above all that I want to go when I hit the north east as this restaurant doesnt exist south of the Mason-Dixon line or anywhere to the west. While we were waiting on our suppers, he showed us the pix of his trip to Tennessee for our wedding in August. All of us had a wonderful time and I was sad to have such a short time to visit with my friends.
Hubby and I got back to the hotel and crashed for the night as Friday was going to be one long day for all of us.